American’s Big LAX Announcement — What Could It Be?

Filed Under: American

Last week I wrote about the rumor of American shortly announcing a new Los Angeles to Hong Kong flight, to complement their existing Dallas to Hong Kong flight. Per JonNYC, the announcement was expected this week, and it seems like that has just about been confirmed.

American will be holding a press conference at the Hollywood Bowl at 11AM tomorrow, Wednesday, January 20, 2016. The announcement is supposed to be about “continued growth and expansion in Los Angeles, including new services, partnerships, and programs that will be rolled out in 2016 at LAX and citywide!”

I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the new Los Angeles to Hong Kong route will be announced tomorrow, along with some other services.

Hong Kong

Airline Reporter speculates that American will also announce Los Angeles to Portland & Seattle flights, which wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard that mentioned. Those routes sure are getting competitive, which can’t be good news for Alaska Airlines, which previously dominated the market.

Seattle, Washington

As far as new partnerships go, American has already announced a partnership with The Hollywood Reporter, as they’re trying to gain more access to the entertainment industry. Their A321 first class product between New York and Los Angeles is a natural fit for the entertainment industry.

American’s A321 first class

I’m guessing there’s going to be more to the announcement, and I’m curious to see what it is. Airline Reporter speculates that American will also share more about their new premium economy seats at the event, and perhaps make some routes out of Los Angeles the first to get the new product. We’ll see.

American’s new premium economy product

Bottom line

It’s interesting to see American take a dominant position in LA. Historically LAX has been a market where all of the “big three” have wanted a presence, but none have really dominated. With American’s new flights to Auckland, Sydney, Tokyo Haneda, and now (presumably) Hong Kong, American seems like they’re in a position to take the lead in LA.

Planes at Tom Bradley International Terminal LAX

The issue is the lack of available gate and terminal space at LAX, so realistically there’s only so much growth which can occur. With all this new growth they’ll need another Admirals Club at some point, and realistically I’m not sure how they’d get the space for that.

American’s commuter terminal is also a massive pain to use, though admittedly expanding there as much as possible with large regional jets will free up the mainline gate space, which is in high demand nowadays.

American’s commuter terminal LAX

Any speculation as to what else American will announce tomorrow?

  1. With the connector from T4 to TBIT almost complete, I think AA will announce their international departures leaving TBIT to make room in T4.

  2. “It’s interesting to see American take a dominant position in LA.”

    This is just fantasy. AA, even with the largest market share of LAX, has a whopping 19-20% of seats. Other than routes like LAX-DFW/MIA for obvious reasons, there’s rarely anywhere from LAX that AA can command a significant pricing premium over its competitors.

  3. Ben – don’t forget about the DL LOI to renovate and relocate to T2/T3; that reshuffle will allow AA access to T5 and be a game changer for locking in the dominance of the 4 majors at LAX.

  4. Frankly, I couldn’t care less what AA announces. I still won’t fly them. I just burned the last of my AA miles, and have no intention of replenishing. Their customer service is abysmal, and their management is downright arrogant. Let us not forget that Doug Parker is the guy who experimented with charging for water. As United is on the uptick, American is falling precipitously.

    AA, as with the other carriers at LAX, are very much constrained by the airport’s physical plan, and the ability to take off during peak hours. United has T7 and T8, while AA only has T4. Even with the 4 old CO gates they rent from United in T6, and the gates they will eventually get at TBIT, they will still be constrained from any major expansion.

  5. Aa has been running some flights out of TB recently, and technically has part of 6. Tab during the day/morning is relatively under utilized, so that might be an option.

    I’m just hoping for more award seats, since aa is particularly stingy sometimes (especially out of la.

  6. Neal, you forgot to mention that the Flight Attendant union BOD sold the Flight Attendants corps down the river ,1982 wages at 2016 living costs. They gave back 22-30% after 9/11 to save the company but still no sign Doug Parker will budge on any sort or performance bonus with 2014-15 massive profits… Too busy country nag his own… Many EP’s feel exactly the way you do..
    Former union President Laura Gladding and media master LESLIE Mayo now working for AA.

  7. AA is taking over Terminal 5. The current Delta Skyclub will become an Admiral’s Club. That of course, though, is longer term because it requires DL completing it’s announced move to T2/T3.

    Short term, AA is getting a 5th gate at T6 and building two brand-new gates at T4, construction and gate reconfiguration starts next month and they should take about four months.

    At TBIT, once the connecter is open (estimated late February) AA will have exclusive use of 5 gates (including TBIT’s only narrow-body gate) between 5am and 11am. Outside that window, AA needs to share the gate with others, but the narrowbody gate is pretty much AA’s all day long.

  8. @ Sice:
    You mean historic like QR’s announcement in NYC back in December? 😉 I doubt that it will be that embarassing.

  9. My guess is that they’ll announce approval for their JV with Qantas, add HKG and hint about one more route to Asia (sort of like when they announced SYD, they hinted at AKL). I think at some point their flights to MIA will use the 3 class 321. Maybe a few other things and an update on the success of recent route additions?

  10. I’ve been wondering why the LAX-DFW-HKG AA flights have recently went up in price. Was looking for one last mileage run before the revenue based earning goes in place.

  11. I think its a bit much to say American’s commuter terminal is a “massive pain to use.” Sure, you need to build 10-15 extra minutes into arriving, but that’s about it IMO…

  12. @Amol

    I think they are already doing that. I traveled twice from SJC to PVG , connecting at LAX last this month, and both time the departing terminal were TBIT for the LAX->PVG leg. The transit was really painful tho, took me almost 40 mins to get from the AA remote terminal to TBIT, as you had to take two shuttles, from remote to T4 first, then change bus, onto TBIT, and then you have to basically walk all the way across TBIT to get AA’s gate.

  13. I’d love to see SBA-LAX as I hate flying through PHX out of SBA. I don’t really love LAX either, would prefer SFO, but I’d take what I can get.

    I don’t expect this, and wouldn’t exactly call it huge news for LAX anyway. It’d be big news for SBA, though.

  14. @Frank – maybe Qatar can take notes how to do it right. Next time he should schedule an iconic venue (Hollywood Bowl) and increase hype value!

  15. If the PDX and SEA flights come to fruition we will see a major battle being waged on this corridor. Given Delta’s recent move into building Seattle as a hub and competing on Alaska routes if American gets into the battle of the NW the odd man out might be Alaska. More and more I am fearing what might end up a reality…Alaska ends up having to align with a major exclusively with an eventual to merger and Bob Marley is gone forever from the tail of Alaska planes. Interestingly, I would imagine United (even though they are not working with them on the mileage program now) to be the best suitor going forward and the most likely to want and get approval. All of these movements are pointing to the eventual: Untied gobbles Alaska, Delta gets Virgin America, and Southwest keeps scaring us all into nightmares that we might actually have no choice but the occasional B boarding pass.

    Well, there is Spirit. And Allegiant. God help us.

    Might be a good time to start an airline. Or not. “The quickest way to become a millionaire is to be a billionaire and start an airline.” Richard Branson.

  16. Hurray! More premium bids available for the seniority based flight attendants to ignore premium cabin guests and provide crappy-coachlike services! Actual quotes in Intl F on AA. “Your gonna have to remind me later what you ordered, I’m old”. “I’m gonna need your first and second meal choice”. And you all may know this guy – the worst “I started in 1970-something flying with PSA, blah blah blah PSA, blah PSA – standing in the galley for 11 hours “directing” no blabbing about himself to the underlings. Tip: To avoid him never book Lax/LHR on Friday’s and reverse on Mondays.

  17. So much pointless speculation. We will know tomorrow.

    @ Stuart H, I see no further consolidation in the industry involving the big three. Even if a Republican wins and packs the regulatory boards with shareholder-friendly types, it would be extremely hard to justify a further reduction in competition.

  18. @Stuart H – from an antitrust perspective, UA or AA wouldn’t have a problem acquiring AS. I’m not sure either of them would want the intra-Alaska part, though, although they could just sell it off. Given their ongoing operational issues, I’m not sure they’d want an acquisition at this point.

    But even if your scenario played out, God would those who help themselves…by flying JetBlue.

  19. Crap, bad editing. The “they” who might not want AS is UA.

    @Neil Z – “as United is on the uptick…”, well, when your service is as awful as theirs, there’s nowhere to go but up.

  20. Delta is moving from its current terminal at lax.
    I believe AA will take over Deltas terminal. In Addition to the gates at Tom Bradley.
    American will add flts to Sea,Pdx. And internationally, Hong Kong and Melbourne .
    I’m just saying…..

  21. American will announce service from LAX to: ANC, DRO, BDL, MCI, MSP, MSY, OMA, PDX and SEA. Will also announce a partnership with the Hollywood Bowl. Keeping fingers crossed for an announcement of Oct ’16 launch (or sooner) for HKG. Also will announce major renovations and money commitments to the LAX airport.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *